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800,000 people refugees in 2011 - UN

19 June 2012, 07:34

 UN - No fewer than 800,000 people were made refugees in 2011, the UN Refugee Agency said in a report.

The report published by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the 2011 figure was larger than any figure compiled during 2000.

It said that 4.3 million people were displaced in 2011, owing to major crises that began in late 2010 in Cote d'Ivoire, Libya, Somalia and Sudan.

"2011 saw suffering on an epic scale. Many lives have been thrown into turmoil over a short period," the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said in the report.

The report said that in 2011, 42.5 million people were refugees; 15.2 million internally-displaced, while 26.4 million people were in the process of seeking asylum.

According to the report, forced displacement affected many people globally, with the annual level exceeding 42 million in the past five years.

It said that a person who became a refugee was likely to remain as one for many years and often stuck in a camp or living precariously in an urban location.

"Of the 10.4 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate, almost 7.1 million have been in exile for at least five years.

"Afghanistan remains the biggest producer of refugees with 2.7 million; followed by Iraq, 1.4 million; Somalia, 1.1 million; Sudan, 500,000; and the Democratic Republic of Congo, 491,000.

It, however, said that among industrialised countries, Germany ranked as the largest hosting country with 571,700 refugees.

The report added that South Africa was the largest recipient of individual asylum applications with 107,000, a status it held for the past four years.


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